Eight Famous Cuisines of China
With a large territory and many nationalities, due to different customs, climate and cooking method, China has developed eight major regional cuisines, they are: Shangdong Cuisine, Sichuan Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine. Of course, there are many other local cuisines that are famous, like Beijing Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine.
Shangdong Cuisine (Lu Cuisine)
Shangdong is the cradle of Chinese culinary culture and Shangdong Cuisine is the most difficult cuisine with the longest history and most cooking techniques. Famous for its clear, pure and not greasy flavor, Shangdong Cuisine focuses on food’s aroma, freshness, crispness and tenderness. Shallot and garlic are favored seasonings by Shangdong Cuisine. Seafood is a major material for Shangdong Cuisine for Shangdong is a large peninsula surrounded by sea to the East. Soup is also a feature of Shangdong Cuisine. Thin soup features clear and fresh while creamy soup looks thick and tastes strong.
Yellow River Fish: this dish is made of Yellow River carp. The carp will be fried first, and then served with cooked sauce which is made of sugar, vinegar and starch. The fish meat is crispy outside and tender inside. The dish tastes sour and sweet and a little salty.
Dezhou Stewed Chicken: the bones will be removed from the chicken, then the chicken will be coated with a sugar sauce and be deep-fired in oil to 70% mature, at last, stew the chicken in a sauced water for several hours. The chicken skin of this dish is bright and ruddy, and the meat is fat and tender. It tastes and smells sweet.
Sichuan Cuisine (Chuan Cuisine)
Sichuan Cuisine is also known as Szechuan Cuisine in the West. Famous for its spicy and pungent flavor, Sichuan Cuisine likes to use chili, pepper and prickly ash, and garlic, ginger and fermented soybean are also used in the cooking process. Seasonings are very important in Sichuan Cuisine, and if the cook is skillful enough, seven flavors – sour, sweet, bitter spicy, tongue-numbing, aromatic and salty should be detected. Sichuan hot pots are perhaps the most famous hotpots in the world, most notably the Yuan Yang Hotpot – half spicy and half clear.
Mapo Tofu: the main ingredients of this dish are tofu and ground meat. The essence of this dish is the hot and spicy sauce. The dish is especially tasty with spicy and tongue-numbing flavor, and it looks bright with red color.
Twice Cooked Pork Slices: this dish is made of sautéed sliced pork with pepper and chili. “Twice Cooked” means the pork will be boiled in water first, and then be fried with pepper and chili. Its tastes a little sweet and spicy and the color of it are red and green.
Guangdong Cuisine (Yue Cuisine)
Guangdong Cuisine attaches great importance to well-chosen ingredients and beautiful presentation. The raw materials of Guangdong Cuisine have a broad range. Main cooking techniques include frying, soft-frying, braising, stewing and toasting. Guangdong Cuisine focus on the belief that food can nourishing the body, so they change flavor in accordance with the season. Strict rules are invented to regulate the Ingredients choosing, cutting skill, cooking duration and tableware styles of Guangdong Cuisine. The flavor of Guangdong Cuisine is usually light, fresh, slippery and tender.
Sliced Boiled Chicken: the raw material of this dish is pullet or capon which only weighs 1,500 grams. The chicken will be boiled to 80% to 90% mature over low heat. When eat, dip the chicken meat into a sauce which is made with salt, ginger, sugar and oil. The skin is loose and the meat is tender.
Soup of the Day: the Soup of the Day can keep the body health and its ingredients will be changed in accordance with the seasons. Normally, the soup will be braised for three or more hours. The flavor of hot day soup is fresh and light, while the flavor of cold day soup is thick and heavy.
Fujian Cuisine (Min Cuisine)
Fujian is abundant in mushrooms, bamboo shoots, with fungus, lotus, eel, soft-shelled turtles, and numerous sea creatures. Hence, Fujian Cuisine has many sea food dishes, which are colorful and tasty. Major cooking techniques applied in Fujian Cuisine are steaming, braising, deep frying, stir-frying, decocting and stewing, and especially deriving flavors pickled in distiller’s grains alcohol or in wine. Fujian Cuisine attaches great importance to cutting skills and everything sliced should preserve and reveal its original aroma and texture of the ingredients.
Fotiaoqiang (meaning the Buddha jumping over the wall): this is a dish of steamed abalone with shark fin and fish maw and other precious ingredients in broth. The dish is famous for its high nutrition, which can boost immunity and delaying senescence. The flavor is light and tender enough to dissolve immediately in the mouth.
Chicken in Red Wine: this dish is made with fleshy hen’s meat and red vinasse (which is used frequently in Fujian Cuisine). The chicken will be boiled in the water first and then be pickled into the red vinasse for hours. The color of the dish is light red and the chicken meat has vinasse fragrance and good taste.
Jiangsu Cuisine (Su Cuisine)
Jiangsu boasts a developed water system, and this area has abundant vegetables and sea and river foods. Many dishes use river, lake and sea foods as their ingredients. Varied cooking method and exquisite cutting skill are two features of Jiangsu Cuisine. The flavor of the cuisine is light, fresh and sweet and with delicate elegance. Jiangsu Cuisine is focus on preserving the original flavor of the ingredients, and the taste is prefer light, fresh, as well as salty with a little sweetness.
Squirrel-like Mandarin Fish: he mandarin fish’s bone will be removed, and it will be coated with egg yolks paste and be deep-fried in the oil. The fish should keep its head high and tail up. After being fried, it shall be doused with tomato juice. This dish is tender inside and crisp outside, properly sweet and sour.
Tofu Boiled in Chicken Broth: To make this dish, add crucian carp brain, crab roe, lard, ginger, shallots, etc. into chicken broth, and then, put the bean curd slices, dried shrimp, cooked diced meat and a little soybean sauce into the broth when it boils, at last, add some other seasonings to gain flavors. The flavor is non-greasing and fresh.
Zhejiang Cuisine (Zhe Cuisine)
Comprising local cuisines of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing, Zhejiang Cuisine wins its reputation for freshness, tenderness, softness, smoothness of its dishes with mellow fragrance. The main cooking skills of Zhejiang Cuisine are stewing, braising, pot-roasting, etc. As for its flavor, Zhejiang Cuisine is normally light and fresh. Basically, it will not use spicy seasonings and it will avoid using thick red oil sauce when cooking.
Shrimp Meat with Dragon Well Tea: this is a dish of fried shrimp meat and dragon well tea. The shrimp should choose big live river shrimp, while the tea should use fresh tea. Only two or three seasonings are added into this dish to keep the original flavor of the shrimp and the tea. This dish taste tender with elegant fragrance.
Lady Son’s Thick Fish Soup: the soup is made with mandarin fish. When cooking this dish, stew the mandarin fish first and then remove the skin and bone of the fish. After that, boil the fish with ham, mushrooms and bamboo shoots in chicken soup. This dish is fresh and tender, and it has a pleasant color.
Hunan Cuisine (Xiang Cuisine)
Hunan Cuisine prefers sour and spicy flavors. The climate of Hunan Province is mild and wet, so the people there love to eat red pepper to refresh them and get rid of wetness. Thick and pungent flavor are two characteristics of Hunan Cuisine. Chili, pepper and shallot are frequently used in Hunan Cuisine.
Dong’an Vinegar Chicken: this dish is cooked with tender chicken, ginger slices and red pepper. The chicken will be first steamed about 15 minutes to 70% mature, and then be pickled with salt and sugar for 10 minutes. After that, fry the pickled chicken with ginger, shallot and other seasonings, and at last, thicken the chicken with starch water. The dish taste sour and spicy, and the chicken meat is very tender.
Steamed Mixed Preserved Meat: this dish use preserved pork, preserved chicken and preserved fish as raw materials. Steam the preserved meat in chicken soup and at last add some seasoning to it. This dish has thick fragrant smell with salty and sweet flavor. It’s bright red, tender and not greasy.
Anhui Cuisine (Hui Cuisine)
Anhui Cuisine has over one thousand traditional dishes. It focuses on simple ingredients, specific cooking times, pure flavor and various styles. Anhui Cuisine attaches great importance to the quality of the oil, the color of the dish, the original flavor of the raw materials and the nutrition of the dish. Main cooking techniques are frying, stewing, smoking and braising. Good control of the fire can achieve the crisp, tender, fragrant and fresh characteristics of Anhui Cuisine.
Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili: this dish uses black carp and grape juice as its raw materials. The fish is deep-fried with egg batter. The sauce of it is mixed sugar, white vinegar, salt, grape juice and green starch. This dish is crispy outside and tender inside. It tastes sweet and sour with aromatic flavor.
Fuliji Roast Chicken: the cooking procedures of this dish contain 12 steps. The chicken will be fried first and then braising in a sauced soup for a period of time. This dish has beautiful color. The chicken meat is savory, fleshy and tender but not greasy. When you eat it, the chicken meat is easily separated from the bone.
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